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53 terms

Classical Culture and History: Commonly referenced elements

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Persephone
Goddess of vegetation and the Underworld; abducted by Hades
Centaur
half-horse/half-man
Ares/Mars
God of war--especially violence in war (as opposed to Athena who is goddess of military strategy)
Hera/Juno
Queen of Olympus, married to Zeus, and protector of women; goddess of the hearth/home
Hermes/Mercury
Olympic Gods' messenger and guide to the underworld; very swift; symbols include winged sandals and winged helmet
Poseidon/Neptune
rules the seas with a trident in hand
Heracles/Hercules
demigod known for incredible strength; as an infant, fought and defeated serpents in his crib; later completed 12 labors as penance
Eros/Cupid
God of love and desire; son of Venus and Mars; shoots arrow of love into mortals; fell in love himself with the mortal psyche, but could not show her his face. Her sisters suggested she use a candle to look at him, but the wax dripped and woke him up.
Athena/Minerva
tthe goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill; patron goddess of Athens; sprung from Zeus (her father)'s head; turned Arachne into a spider after losing a weaving contest to her
Cerberus
three-headed dog that guards the Underworld
Hades/Pluto
ruler of the Underworld
Hephaestus/Vulcan
Lame blacksmith to the gods; god of technology/industry, craftsmen, and fire/volcanoes
Apollo/Phoebus Apollo
The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, medicine, healing, plague, music, poetry, arts, archery and more. Twin brother of Artemis; god of the temple at Olympus
Artemis/Diana
goddess of the hunt; presides over childbirth, but doesn't believe in marriage or sex herself
Hestia/Vestia
God of home, safety, and security
Dionysus/Bacchus
God of wine, grapes, ritual madness and ecstasy; Greek plays were developed for his festivals
Zeus/Jupiter
God of Thunder and the sky; ruler of the other gods; married to Hera but famous for his sexual escapades. These resulted in offspring including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses. By Hera he fathered Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.
Orpheus
archetype of the inspired musician; played a lyre and could charm most anyone who heard him; descended into the Underworld to retrieve his wife; killed by those who could not hear his music.
Demeter
Goddess of grain, especially corn; since agriculture is a hallmark of civilization, she is goddess of civilization and the protector of marriage
Pegasus
horse with wings
Pan/Faunus
half-man/half-goat; god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs; associated with unbridaled sexuality; turned King Midas's ears into donkey ears after a contest he lost to Apollo
classical world
The civilization and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
Darius
A Persian King who wanted to conquer more land, by 500 BC he had conquered the Greek towns of Asia Minor.
Sparta
militaristic city state in Ancient Greece; out of fear of a slave uprising, Spartans gave up most elements of family life and leisure to live a minimalistic/bare (Spartan) warrior life.
phalanx
A special Greek battle formation: the soldiers formed rows, closely pressed together
Delphi
A shrine in Greece, site of Apollo's Temple and home of the Delphic Oracle, which told fortunes
Xerxes
son of Darius; became Persian king. He vowed revenge on the Athenians. He invaded Greece with 180,000 troops in 480 B.C.
Pericles
Athenian ruler of Greece - Athen's Golden Age - model for the world in art, philosophy and democracy - 461-429 B.C.
tragedy
a serious drama dealing with the downfall of the main character or hero
comedy
a play that pokes fun at human foolishness
Pelopennesian War
war from 431-404 BCE which was started when Sparta attacked Athens due to their growing power; the Spartans won - democracy declined
Socrates
Devoted himself to discussion with the aristocratic young citizens of Athens, qestioning the truth of popular opinions. Charged with corrupting the youth of Athens they sentenced him to death in 399 B.C.E. Accepting this outcome, Drank hemlock and died
Plato
student under Socrates, another greek philospher who taugh about human behavior, government, math, and astronomy - teacher of Aristotle
Aristotle
A Greek Philosopher, taught Alexander the Great, started a famous school, studied with Plato
Solon
abolished debt slavery and freed slaves. limited land allowed to be owned and extended citizenship. citizens gained more power
Pericles
Athenian statesman. He was the central ruler of Athens during its golden age. He was the central patron behind many of their achievements. He was also a very skilled speaker (built the parthenon).
Aeschylus
writer of tragedies; wrote Oresteia; proposed the idea of having two actors and using props and costumes
Sophocles
writer of tragedies; used three actors; and made Oedipus Rex, and Antigone
Euripides
Tragedy writer, used regular people instead of Gods, and tried to answer real life questions. Wrote Medea
Aristophanes
Greek playright of comedy; wrote "The Birds," "The Frogs," and Lysistrata
Hippocrates
Father of Western medicine; introduced simple empirical method (take notes on whether cures work) and famous for saying "First, do no harm."
Herodotus
Father of history, wrote about persian war, father of history, word history comes from name, 1st to gather facts and write them down.
Democritus
Greek philosopher who developed an atomistic theory of matter (460-370 BC)
Protagoras
He said " man is the measure of all things" - the argument that all Sophists had.
Socrates
philosopher who believed in an absolute right or wrong; asked students pointed questions to make them use their reason, later became Socratic method
Aristotle
philosopher who wrote more than 200 books from politics to astronomy; made Lyceum and Assembly, two schools
Phillip of Macedon
ambitious King of Macedonia and father of Alexander the Great. to raise the economic and cultural level of his people, to unite the Greek city states under Macedonian rule, to lead a combined Greek/Macedonian army against the Persian Empire
Alexander the Great
son of Philip II, pupil of Aristotle - invaded Persia and liberated Greek cities in Asia Minor - then defeated Persians in Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia, founded Alexandria (center of hellenistic/Jewish culture with great libraries), conquers huge empire - tired soldiers want to turn back in end, gifted athlete and natural leader with charisma, ruled 13 yrs and died (age 32) of a fever in Babylon w/out designated heir
Archimedes
found pi, law of lever, invented compound principle and Archimedes screw, catapult, and volume(when he was butt NEKED)
Cynics
Philosophy groups which believed in all pleasures of life where evil and should be scorned
Stoics
These Hellenistic philosophers taught the importance of self-discipline, control of their emotions, and a calm attitude towards death.
Epicureans
People who believed the proper pursuit of humankind is undisturbed withdrawal from the world
Skeptics
This group of Hellenistic philosophers questioned any assumptions and had a goal of achieving peace of mind.

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